Federal Financial Monitoring Service is on guard for illegal financial operations

The key document aimed at the prevention, detection and suppression of acts related to illegal money circulation is the Federal Law No. 115-FZ of August 8, 2001 "On countering legalization of illegal earnings (money laundering) and financing of terrorism". The monitoring function is assigned to the Federal Financial Monitoring Service (Rosfinmonitoring).

As a result of strict work of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation and Rosfinmonitoring, the following trends have appeared on the financial market: on the one hand, the unfair clients began to move to large financial institutions with the ability to get lost among large number of clients and financial operations, on the other hand, the suspicious financial flows from the banks moved to nonbank credit institutions due to variety of operating forms. 

In 2015 public annual report Rosfinmonitoring gave the following schemes of illegal activity related to money laundering and financing of terrorism:

  • illegal receipt of budget funds devoted to support of economic sectors;
  • cash withdrawal via consumer credit cooperatives, microfinance institutions, mail transfers;
  • tax evasion during the sale of precious metals and gems on the market or through the banks;
  • placement of funds in the non-State pension funds for later use in the extremely risky investment projects with the aim of no return; 
  • participating in the schemes of withdrawal of funds abroad under the guise of securities purchase;
  • using of bank paying agents, collections agencies as a source of cash withdrawal;
  • kickbacks, received for using of state and municipal orders and subsequent withdrawal of funds to offshore through affiliated structures (fly-by-night firms) etc.

Measures, which are taken by the Megaregulator for nonfulfillment of Anti-money laundering law, are as follows: strengthening of the requirements to regulated companies, license revocation, the duty of bank payment agents to make monetary transactions through the special accounts etc. For example, in 2015 licenses of 93 credit institutions were revoked, among them: 9 banks – violation of the legislation in the sphere of money laundering and financing of terrorism, 34 banks - violation of the 115-FZ, 47 banks – making of shady transactions.

Within 2015 credit institutions refused to sign a contract in 142 th cases, to make a transaction in 94 th cases, terminated bank account agreement in 2,3 th cases; that is 2-3 times higher than in 2014. In 2015 it was identified that bank payment agents and collections agencies used the scheme of funds withdrawal on total sum of 5,6 bln RUB. 

The existence of fraudulent schemes, the number of measures of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation and financial institutions prove the necessity to check the counterparty for fair business entity in order to avoid fake companies and, consequently, to protect the business from possible losses.

Information and analytical system Globas-i might provide the assistance in counterparty check before signing the contract and subsequent monitoring of the counterparty’s activity. This product allows to construct the scheme of counterparty’s connections and affiliated companies by shareholder and director and to see liquidated, new and offshore companies in this structure. Globas-i system may identify the fly-by-night firm sings, future bankrupt, facts of unreliability and unfair practices by cumulative features in counterparty’s data. 

The analysis of arbitration proceedings will help to know about the cases between the Federal Tax Service and counterparties regarding non-payment of VAT, charge of additional income tax, property tax, tax on income of a physical person. The section «Enforcement proceedings» of Globas-i system reflects the payment history of counterparty; enforcement order on charge of additional income tax should especially be taken into account. Besides, it is possible to identify the affiliated connection between tender participants and customers, lots’ content, to compare the competitive price of products, works and services of the winner with the market price and find out other disturbing factors in counterparty’s activity.

Partnership EAEC-SCO-ASEAN* can take place

On May 19-20, 2016 the Russia-ASEAN summit took place in Sochi. It should be emphasized that the current year became the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Russia-ASEAN Dialogue. The leaders of all the ASEAN countries came to the summit because of this fact and the importance of problems submitted for discussion, with the exception of the Philippines. During this event, the President of the RF met each of them, thus underscoring the importance of the cooperation between Russia and the ASEAN and the summit held.

Russia's turnover with the ASEAN countries amounted to 13,7 bln USD in 2015, the volume of mutual investments - 11 bln. Russia's cooperation with the ASEAN has positive results. For example, companies of Brunei and Singapore invest in the innovation sphere of Russia, of Vietnam - in oil and gas recovery, of Thailand - in the agricultural sector. The Russian business diversifies into the civilian nuclear industry in Vietnam, in plans - Laos, in mining operations - in Indonesia and Myanmar, in high technologies - in Malaysia.

The summit agenda was intense and dedicated to a wide range of issues. Among them the most important were: 

  • improving of the regional security architecture;
  • search for new ways to counter the growing threats of international terrorism, extremism, crime; 
  • disclosure of the economic potential of relationship;
  • growing the sales volume and mutual investment;
  • expansion of cooperation in energy, transport and infrastructure, agriculture, science and technologies;
  • establishment of diversified contacts between EAEC, ASEAN and SCO.

During the negotiations of the delegations with the Russian leadership it was the intention in view on the part of partners to speed up the establishment of connections in trading, tourism, culture, military-technical cooperation. Such interest to Russia is due to the fact that under the influence of sanctions other sectors have begun to develop in the country with "oil" economy, which are of interest to members of the ASEAN. As a result, the mutual investment and turnover have increased.

The Summit identified new growth areas: high-tech was added to the energy industry, innovations, including in the military sphere, agriculture, sectorial science, culture and education. By the end of the event Russia offered a «roadmap», enshrining a new stage of development in the relations between Russia and the ASEAN and contributing to the further growth. It is 3-5 years long and is a comprehensive cooperation program covering all aspects of the relationship: 57 projects aimed at the formation of joint technological and innovative alliances. By this the Asian partners continue to make adjustments to it.

A key outcome of the summit the analysts believe the course that was set by the participants for «conjugation» of the integration of the ASEAN with the same processes in the EAEC and SCO. Certainly, this will result in the study of existing tariffs, standards, rules of the game, but also the perspective seems very important – it is a free trade between countries, being a part of these organizations.

Against the background of the effectiveness of the economic aspects it should be mentioned also the political factor. Practically the history does not remember such examples, when almost all the leaders of the participating countries come to the summit to one of their partners. Holding of the summit in Sochi demolishes once again the view of the USA and the West about Russia's isolation. In Asia they understand that US policy is leading to a split within the ASEAN. And the countries of Southeast Asia, on the contrary, are interested in keeping «balance», which resulted in that none of the countries should dominate in the region. Therefore, they try to cooperate as well with the USA, as with China, as with Russia. It is not excluded that the idea of the partnership of EAEC, SCO and ASEAN may well become more attractive than the Transatlantic Pacific Partnership.

* ASEAN - Association of Southeast Asian Nations

EAEC – Eurasian Economic Union

SCO – Shanghai Cooperation Organization